More than 40 years ago, William Blueher rode his motorcycle into Telluride on the way to visit his grandfather in Wisconsin.
The Albuquerque native fell so in love with the town that he never left. He found a life- long career, met his wife, Paula, and started a family here.
“He just loved the beauty of it, and the smallness, and being able to walk everywhere,” Paula Blueher said. “He never wanted to live anywhere but Telluride.”
Blueher passed away March 29 at the age of 64. The town he loved will have a chance to honor him at 2 p.m. Saturday at Alpine Chapel, 122 S. Aspen St.
“He had a positive outlook on life,” his wife recalled. “He was sick, and he didn’t admit he was sick at all. He was so positive, and so upbeat, and so giving with his time.”
After arriving in his beloved hometown in 1973, Blueher became a partner at the Bushwacker Inn, later known as the Oak Street Inn. In 1985, he began working as a real estate broker — a career he stuck with until his battle with brain cancer rendered him unable to work. He most recently worked as an associate at Sotheby’s International Realty, where he was held in high regard, according to owner and managing broker Nels Cary.
“(He was) very meticulous with his work. Just so thoughtful … he cared about all of his clients,” Paula Blueher said. “I think he made everyone feel special and cared about.”
Paula and Bill Blueher met in 1985 while lifting weights at the high school gym, Paula recalled with a laugh. There weren’t a lot of indoor spaces for exercise then, so “there we were, in this boys’ locker room.”
The two married in 1990; their daughter, Shelby, was born in 1994.
“He was a wonderful father,” Paula Blueher said. “So very patient.”
Blueher said her husband, also an avid skier, hiker and golfer, was most proud of his family.
“I know he enjoyed his work, but work was work. … He just wanted to spend as much time (as possible) enjoying life.”
During Blueher’s illness, friends began an account on gofundme.com to raise money for Shelby Blueher to fly home from college in Orange, California so the family could spend time together. That account, viewable at gofundme.com/blueherfamilyfund, is still open.